Newsmen from across the United States gathered in Los Angeles today for the unveiling of a previously secret new automation system -- Digitape controls -- that is speeding work on U.
CU Bank of flashing monitor lights on Digitape control cabinet.
LS Control cabinets, with technician checking their operation.
LS Machine line.
MS Machine line, showing automatic transfer of parts.
MS Girl at tape keyboard
CU Girl's hands punching keys
CU Hands take reel of tape from keyboard cabinet.
MCU Technician inserts tape in tape-reader. CU Technician's face as he loads tape-reader.
MCU Hand adjusting dials.
CU Tape running through reader.
CU Pedestal with part turns, and milling head moves into position.
CU Milling head starts cut.
MCU Drill drum rotates and drill begins cut.
MS Technician removes plug-in circuit from control cabinet.
CU Plug-in circuit board.
MS Technician replaces plug-in circuit in cabinet.
MS Technician removes machined part from production line, and clamps unmachined casting into place.
MCU Technician picks up machined part and places it on table.
CU Technician places finished part on table with other parts.
MS Machine transfer shot.
LS Machine line.
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Background: Newsmen from across the United States gathered in Los Angeles today for the unveiling of a previously secret new automation system -- Digitape controls -- that is speeding work on U.S. defenses against enemy air attack. Officials of Hughes Aircraft Company, which developed the new system, said it can cut months off the "lead time" between blueprints and finished hardware of American defense weapons. The new automation controls promise to revolutionize commercial production as well, they said.
These flickering lights that newsmen saw represent the electronic "thoughts" of the Hughes Digitape controls.
These cabinets contain the thousands of transistors and other electronic parts that do the thinking . . .
. . . and run America's first all-electronically controlled machine tool production line, shown here.
The machines made by Kearney and Trecker of Milwaukee, work as a team, automatically passing parts down the production line.
The automated machines swing into place for such metal-cutting set-ups as milling, drilling and boring, taking their orders from the electronic controls.
The controls get their information from punched tape, prepared by a stenographer on this special keyboard. Accuracy in machine cuts is to one-thousandth of an inch -- less than half the thickness of a piece of newspaper.
The tape can be removed from the keyboard console immediately after punching . . .
. . . and placed in the controls, where sensitive metal fingers read off the punched information. One man can run both the tape-readers and the production line.
Dial settings replace machine handwork and speed production of vital defense equipment.
Information from punched tape is acted on within seconds by the machine line, saving hours of conventional hand machining tasks.
The controls give instructions to the machines for all machining operations, and automatically check to see that each operation is carried out correctly.
This automatic drilling machine is helping the automated machine line turn out vital parts for the Hughes electronic armament control system that guards America against enemy air attack. It can be turning out completely different parts within seconds simply by changing the punch-tape in the controls.
Heart of the Hughes Digitape system are these removable electronic building blocks. Each plug-in unit features printed circuitry, transistors and miniaturized components. By changing plug-in units, officials say, the controls can be taught to run other automation processes, too.
This machinist can produce parts ten times as fast with the help of the automated line. Speeded-up production is vital in present accelerated defense schedules. The quick-change feature of the process has important commercial advantages.
These parts can be run off simultaneously on the electronically-controlled production line.
Automated production -- an electronically in the free world's battle against Communist domination . . .
. . . a preview of tomorrow's peacetime world of automation, bringing prosperity to everyone through faster and more economical production.